The cardiothoracic surgery team at Hannibal Regional is a collaborative group of surgeons, cardiologists, and non-physician providers working together to treat patients with cardiac diseases in an integrated manner placing our patients and their families at the center of our multidisciplinary team of experts. Committed to providing efficient, high-quality, and innovative care for cardiovascular disease, our team works closely with patients and families to create optimal short and long-term care plans. A heart team approach means that the decisions about whether a patient has a medical treatment, a catheter-based treatment, a surgical treatment, or a hybrid approach are made by a collaborative team of highly-skilled, and dedicated specialists. We're dedicated to guiding patients and families through the entire care journey.
Cardiothoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in surgical treatment of organs within the chest, particularly the heart and lungs. Cardiothoracic surgeons are highly trained medical professionals who perform surgical procedures on the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other thoracic (chest) organs. This field encompasses a wide range of surgical procedures and treatments, with a primary focus on addressing life-threatening conditions and improving the overall functioning of these vital organs. Cardiothoracic surgery requires extensive training and expertise due to the critical nature of the procedures and the importance of the organs involved. Patients may be referred to cardiothoracic surgeons by other healthcare providers when surgical intervention is necessary to treat complex cardiovascular or thoracic conditions.
Before Heart Surgery
Our Cardiothoracic Surgery Team
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Preparing for Surgery
Prior to surgery you will need to complete pre-appointment testing. Your surgeon will order are series of radiology, cardiopulmonary, and lab testing. Appointments for testing will be coordinated by the cardiothoracic surgery office and results will be sent to your surgeon before your consultation appointment. During your consultation appointment you will meet with your surgeon to begin education on your procedure and to determine if cardiac surgery is the best option for you. After you and your surgeon have agreed that surgery is your best option, your pre-operative education appointment will be scheduled.
Your pre-operative education appointment will help you prepare for surgery by meeting with a dietitian, social worker, and nurse. The pre-operative education appointment is a great time to ask any additional questions you may have and some final lab work may be needed.
Your next appointment will be for your cardiac surgery. Your surgery date will be scheduled by the cardiac surgery office team and will be coordinated with you along with surgical preparation instructions.
Day of Surgery
On the day of surgery, your first stop will be at the hospital admitting desk. Please arrive two hours prior to your scheduled surgery time and bring your insurance card. After your registration is complete you will be escorted to the Ambulatory Care Unit and prepped for surgery. The Ambulatory Care team will prep you for surgery by completing any needed lab testing, starting IVs, and reviewing your medical information and ask additional questions related to your procedure. It is recommended to leave all valuables such as money, credit cards, jewelry, etc. at home. Family members can stay with you and meet your anesthesiologist and surgical team. Be sure to let your anesthesiologist know if you’ve had previous issues with anesthesia.
In the Hospital
After cardiac surgery, your doctor will admit you to the hospital’s cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU). Most patients are still intubated on a breathing machine at this time. When you are awake and strong enough, the breathing tube is removed, usually within 3-6 hours after surgery. To keep you comfortable and calm, you may receive additional medications. In most cases, your family can sit with you during this recovery time.
Immediately after surgery, you may have chest tubes (drains), as well as an arterial line in your arm and central venous lines in your neck. These will be removed over the next few days as you continue to improve. During recovery, you may receive extra oxygen through a face mask or nasal prongs that fit just inside your nose. You’ll wear these until your doctor determines you’re receiving sufficient oxygen on your own.
Leaving the Hospital
The average post-op hospital stay is 4-7 days, but how long you stay in the hospital depends on the type of procedure and your pre-operative condition. Your doctor will discuss your new medications, the instructions for wound care, and any restrictions with you and your family before you’re discharged.
When you’re discharged, you’ll usually receive new medications. Your surgeon will determine when you should resume your pre-operative medications. Do not start taking your previous medications without your doctor’s instruction and supervision.